ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Wisconsin-Whitewater shot 10-for-12 from the free-throw line down the stretch to defeat Concordia-Moorhead 79-72 and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday. With the win, head coach Keri Carollo earns her 230th career victory to become the winningest coach in school history.
Five players were in double figures for UW-W with Mary Merg leading the way with 16 while Katie Burton added 14. Amy Mandrell and Kristen Ruchti both scored 12 and Kaitlyn Thill added 11. The Warhawks shot 41 percent from the field and were able to turn the Cobbers' 24 turnovers into 24 points. CC shot 46 percent from the field and was 7-for-19 from behind the arc.
The game was close throughout the first half, with the Warhawks largest lead of six coming with 7:55 left in the half and the Cobbers' largest lead of five coming at the 14:04 mark. Concordia held the advantage from the field, shooting 54 percent to UW-W's 46 percent. CC hit 6-11 from downtown to Whitewater's 3-10.
In the opening period, Mandrell was 4-for-6 for 10 points with five rebounds and Burton was 2-for-2 from behind the arc for nine points to lead the Warhawks. Alley Fisher and Erin Januschka led the Cobbers with 12 points each and give Concordia a 43-40 lead going into the locker room.
Concordia was able to extend its lead to nine, 52-43, in the opening minutes of the second half, but Thill kept the Warhawks in the game by leading an 8-0 run to tie the game at 54-54 with 11:34 left and then take a three-point lead 58-55 halfway through the period.
After the Cobbers retook the lead by two 64-62 with 4:36 to play, Ruchti drove the lane then passed off to Reilly Stewart in the corner who nailed a three to give UW-W a one point advantage with just over four minutes left. Whitewater went 10-12 from the charity stripe down the stretch to hold Concordia at bay and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a 79-72 win.